Valencia named top city for expats

The Spanish city beat holiday favourites Barcelona and Madrid for quality of life

Ella Doyle
Monday 05 December 2022 17:04 GMT
Valencia has come out on top globally
Valencia has come out on top globally (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A city in Spain has just been voted the world’s top destination for expats.

Valencia beat tourism favourite Barcelona in a 2022 report named the Expat City Ranking, published by the Expat Insider.

The Spanish city, which has a population of 1.6 million, won out of 50 destinations globally for its high “happiness level”.

The cities were ranked across different categories, including quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad and personal finance.

Valencia won in the quality of life category, as well as overall. Migrants praised its infrastructure, with 85 per cent describing its public transport system as affordable, as well as lauding its recreational opportunities.

One expat from the UK said: “I love the opportunity to do activities in the outdoors regularly.”

Over 85 per cent of residents felt happy about moving to the city, and many praised it for its excellent quality of life. Those in the study also described it as a place that was easy to settle into.

The Independent previously named Valencia as Spain’s unsung foodie hero.

But the study did point to one weak point for expats. In the working abroad category, Valencia scored some of the lowest points, with half of expats rating its local job market negatively, and a third highlighting its unfavourable career prospects.

Coming up behind Valencia as overall best city for expats is Dubai, where two thirds (66 per cent) said it was easy to deal with local authorities and 88 per cent said government services were clear and available.

Dubai is followed by Mexico City, where 82 per cent of expats praised how easy it was to settle in; however, one in three did feel unhappy about their personal safety.

The top 10 cities for expats is as follows:

  1. Valencia
  2. Dubai
  3. Mexico City
  4. Lisbon
  5. Madrid
  6. Bangkok
  7. Basel
  8. Melbourne
  9. Abu Dhabi
  10. Singapore

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